Regional Chief Nurse Appointments Made by NHS England and NHS Improvement

The first two joint regional chief nurse appointments have been made by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSI).

In a move to provide “clear joint leadership” and greater collaboration across both organisations to deliver improved patient care.

Sue Doheny, a board-level director in the NHS for nine years, has been appointed to the South role, and Professor Oliver Shanley, OBE – who has most recently been deputy CEO and director of quality and safety (Chief Nurse) at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS FT – has been named for London.

In their joint roles, Doheny and Prof Shanley will provide professional leadership to all members of the nursing and midwifery professions in their region, bringing greater clarity for frontline staff.

The roles will discharge the regulatory and statutory functions for which both NHS England and NHSI are accountable.

Both posts report to their respective regional directors who have described them as a significant development in the collaborative working arrangements now in place between NHS England and NHSI.

Doheny and Prof Shanley will report to:

  • Steve Russell, NHS Improvement executive regional managing director for London
  • Anne Eden, NHS Improvement executive regional managing director for the South
  • Dr Anne Rainsberry, NHS England regional director for London
  • Andrew Ridley, NHS England regional director for the South

Professor Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, stated that she was very pleased about this new approach to joint chief nurse roles.

While Dr Ruth May, executive director of nursing for NHSI, was positive about the prospects of the new appointment.

“These joint appointments will strengthen our ability to provide great nursing leadership across London and the South. It will build on the support we provide to the nursing community and to the wider NHS on the important role that nursing care plays in the health service. I look forward to working with Sue and Oliver.”

The continuing argument over the government’s plans to scrap nursing bursaries means that this is an extremely critical period for the nursing profession.

A report by the Royal College of Nursing entitled “Overstretched. Under-resourced” back in 2012 reviewed the nursing labour market, and concluded that, as the title suggests, that the situation was already serious.

Data for the NHS in England at that time showed a reduction in nurse staffing of around 5,780 (headcount) and 3,700 (whole time equivalent) between May 2010 and June 2012.


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